13 QUESTIONS WITH MCALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – DR. J. A. GONZALEZ

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1) What is your favorite book? The Greatest Salesman in the World. It talks about greeting each day with love, and I think that’s important because in this world there is so much that goes on. I think as humankind we need to make sure that we respect and love one another.

2) What is your favorite movie? “Good Will Hunting.” I love the fact that it points out not judging a book by its cover. Will, in the movie, was really a genius who nobody saw the genius in. It takes the perspective of somebody who was broken yet had so much to offer society. As an educator, I make it a point not to judge kids by where they come from, their circumstances, their influences or their gender.

3) What was your favorite vacation spot? When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was go fishing with my dad. We’d go to South Padre Island and spend time together. He’s 88 now and still with us, but I remember that as quality time with Dad. I do that now with my kids.

4) What is your life’s motto? “Let everything you do be done with love.” And there’s a quote from Martin Luther King that stuck with me. “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted or as Beethoven composed music or as Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so all the hosts of heaven and earth would pause and say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper. He did his job well.’” Whatever you’re doing, do it with love.

5) Where were you born? In Laredo because there wasn’t a hospital in Hebbronville, the small ranching town where I grew up.

6) What was a life-changing event in your life? In college when my initial major was Pharmacy, I decided that I didn’t want to be a pharmacist. My father had been an educator for 38 years, so the day I decided to be an educator, my dad made me promise that I would get the highest level of education in my field. I got a doctorate in Educational Leadership and became a superintendent after 22 years. I’m living a dream.

7) What makes you laugh? My kids make me laugh. They are 6, 4, and 3. Playing with them lets me be a kid again. I’m the youngest of five. I spend a lot of time with my family, and they make me laugh.

8) What is the question you most want answered? Have I done everything I can in my profession as an educator to help people accomplish their dreams?

9) What is the happiest thing for you to think about? My kids and my wife.

10) What time do you get up? 6:00 a.m.

11) What is the first thing you do each morning? Pray.

12) What are any apps or other technology you use to get things done?
I use the macbook, cell phone, desktop, a running app to help me stay in shape. I try to balance my mind, my body and my spirit to the best of my ability and keep those things in synergy.

13) What is the last thing you do before going to bed?
Kiss my wife.